Mason Greenwood saga divides Man Utd staff as some ‘feel duty of care’

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Manchester United staff are reportedly split over the correct course of action regarding Mason Greenwood’s future. The 21-year-old saw charges against him of attempted rape, controlling and coercive behaviour, and occasioning actual bodily harm dropped on Thursday. 

Greenwood was due to stand trial in November this year but the Crown Prosecution Service recently confirmed that a key witness had withdrawn from the case, leaving them with no realistic prospect of conviction. The youngster last played for United on January 22 last year. 

He has been suspended by the Red Devils for over 12 months, while still picking up his reported £75,000-a-week salary. The lack of a conviction against Greenwood has left United with a dilemma in terms of how best to proceed. 

Hours after the news broke, the club released the following statement: “Manchester United notes the decision of the Crown Prosecution Service that all charges against Mason Greenwood have been dropped. The club will now conduct its own process before determining next steps. We will not make any further comment until that process is complete.”

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Greenwood is contracted to Old Trafford until 2025, but The Guardian claim that some United staff would be ‘deeply unhappy’ if he ever plays for the club again. Others, meanwhile, are reported to feel a ‘duty of care’ towards the player, who has not been found guilty of a crime and joined the academy as a young schoolboy. 

The once-capped England international released a brief statement of his own on Thursday, which read: “I am relieved that this matter is now over and I would like to thank my family, loved ones and friends for their support. There will be no further comment at this time.”

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United’s internal process regarding ‘next steps’ is being led by CEO Richard Arnold, who will supposedly consider the commercial impact that would come with keeping hold of Greenwood. The club’s global partners are said to be monitoring the situation, although shirt sponsors TeamViewer refused to comment. 

Another partner, Ecolab, told The Guardian: “Any question relating to the players and the operations of the club we would refer to Manchester United. We are aware of the topic and are in contact with the club. We have no comment to provide at this time.”

Ten Hag himself faced awkward questions on the matter ahead of Saturday’s Premier League clash with Crystal Palace. “I can’t give a comment about the process,” he told reporters. “I can’t say anything about it. I refer to the statement of the club and at this moment I can’t add anything.

“We have to always focus on the game, no matter what, it is our job. That is why we are here.” Greenwood has only ever played for United, becoming their second-youngest debutant of all time in 2019 and going on to notch 35 goals in 129 senior matches. 

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